February 24, 2015, Chicago
Yesterday a report by Spencer Ackerman from the Guardian exposed the practice of the Chicago Police Department’s use of the Homan Square “Jail” Facility to detain people in secret, denying them access to an attorney, telephones and due process including brutal interrogation procedures analogous to reported CIA torture practices. A follow up report from the Atlantic included the transcript of an interview with Tracy Siska, executive director of the Chicago Justice Project and a criminologist who had previously wrote a story about military interrogation tactics in the city, spoke about the allegations of police brutality as well as the majority of people that the Chicago Police are abusing.
“Mostly who they take to Homan Square are black and brown and poor kids who can’t afford to hire private counsel while they’re in custody. That’s a little nuance in the law that few know about.”
Siska further discusses how long these practices have been going on and the failure of Mainstream Media to investigate the allegations brought to them by the local community.
“There was knowledge in the police-accountability community. We knew exactly where it was, but we couldn’t get the press in Chicago to cover the story. We think it started during [former Chicago Police Department Superintendent] Phil Cline’s time around 2006 or 2007 until about 2011 when the city had roving special units [that worked out of Homan Square.]”
Fortunately a number of alternative media outlets and activist organizations are shining the light on this so very important issue. The Chicago Police have denied the allegations levied against them by the named sources in the Guardian story which includes local attorneys as well as Brian Jacob Church, a protester known as one of the “NATO Three”. Mr. Church’s allegations were videotaped and released as part of the Guardian’s article.
A growing number of media outlets are reporting this issue including the most influential progressive blog the Daily Kos, Ultra Conservative The Blaze, alternative media outlets Ben Swann , The Free Thought Project and Glen Greenwald’s The Intercept.
I spent the a number of hours this past evening speaking with activist organizations across the country that intend on protesting at the Homan Square facility as soon as later today. Dan Johnson, the noted founder of P.A.N.D.A. observed in a phone call with me that the detention practices of the Chicago Police fall right in line with the Unconstitutional Indefinite Detention provisions of the 2012, 2013 and 2014 National Defense Authorization Act as discussed at length on the P.A.N.D.A. website.
What is of paramount concern to this writer is the continued erosion of our rights that we keep hearing about in our society. Our Constitution strictly forbids any agent of our government from doing these kinds of acts. It is the law. The 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 9th and 14th Amendment protections exist for a reason and our the rule of law in this country and officials in our government capriciously do not follow these mandates and our mainstream media offers a divisive and misleading rhetoric to keep we the people at bay. It is events like this that must be investigated objectively and thoroughly by the world’s journalists with a no holds barred attitude so we can make our elected officials pay the price for this kind of behavior at the polls and through the courts. Hopefully this is just the beginning of the story.